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Software Linux

Gaim Renamed — Now Pidgin IM 498

Posted by kdawson
from the speak-freely dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Announced on the Gaim mailing lists earlier today, the Gaim project is being renamed. This follows a lengthy and, unfortunately, secret legal process with AOL, which also prevented any code releases except betas. The project will now be known as Pidgin IM. Development is being migrated off of sourceforge.net as well and is now being hosted on developer.pidgin.im"
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Gaim Renamed — Now Pidgin IM

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  • by pembo13 (770295) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:34PM (#18651717) Homepage

    Wikipedia knows [wikipedia.org]

    Once again, useful time and resources wasted on IP issues.

  • Re:What's a Pidgin? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tragek (772040) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:34PM (#18651729) Journal
    From wikipedia:

    A pidgen, or contact language, is the name given to any language created, usually spontaneously, out of two or more languages as a means of communication between speakers of different tongues, and usually a simplified form of one of the languages. Pidgins have simplified grammars and few synonyms, serving as auxiliary contact languages. They are learned as second languages rather than natively.


    The emphasis is mine, with relation to the project's aims in their name selection.

    I think it's a good name, if a little weird to think of after years and years of gaim.
  • Re:Whilst a shame... (Score:3, Informative)

    by oyenstikker (536040) <slashdot@[ ]rne.org ['sby' in gap]> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:44PM (#18651815) Homepage Journal
    Pidgin _is_ a noun.
  • Re:Damn Shame (Score:3, Informative)

    by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash DOT eighty ... AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:47PM (#18651841)
    "Anyone recall separate independent email systems before one unified email standard?"
    That's what Jabber was created for.
    The Gai[esc]dw[i]Pidgin/Kopete/Miranda/Trillian split is mostly because they're designed for different platforms. Pidgin is GTK+(and GNOME by extension, though I run it on Windows), Kopete is KDE, Miranda is Windows, and Trillian needs to drop off the face of the earth (kidding, it's Windows, but proprietary, not much better than Gaim, and bloated to hell :)
  • by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:12PM (#18652013) Journal
    PIDGIN is *NOT* a geeky reference to the RFC about carrier pidgeons. "PIDGIN" is a local dialect of English used in Hawaii Wiki [wikipedia.org]. I know because I just got back from a conference there. Hang loose, brah....
  • Re:What's a Pidgin? (Score:3, Informative)

    by be-fan (61476) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:14PM (#18652027)
    A pidgin language is one that's a mixture of other languages, often used in places colonized by other nations or in places were extensive trade makes contact between speakers of two languages common.

    Seriously, you didn't know that?
  • by Darundal (891860) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:16PM (#18652035) Journal
    Actually, worst case scenario, one of the many protocols gaim supports ends up not working. Ever.
  • Re:Powned him? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grcumb (781340) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:16PM (#18652041) Homepage Journal

    It's not Pigeon - it's 'Pidgin', which refers to a number of English-derived dialects spoken in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The language is simple in construction and has a very limited vocabulary, but it can be quite poetic.

    I speak Bislama, the Vanuatu version of the language, which contains elements of French as well as English. The syntax is very much like English (subject - verb - object), but its idiom is derived from the hundreds of local languages.

    I don't know whether the team were aware of this when they chose the name, but Bislama and the other South Pacific Pidgins are spelled phonetically, which makes it really easy to understand. Example:

    Mi wantem toktok long yu Means "I (me) want to talk to you."

    This phonetic spelling makes it absolutely ideal for texting, because there are few if any of the crazy English spellings that stretch on forever without adding anything to the word - 'thought', for example, is simplified to 'ting'. When SMS was recently introduced into Vanuatu, even expat folks like myself found ourselves texting in Bislama, because it's more concise.

    So with all that in mind, I'll simply say, "Mi ting se 'pidgin' hemi wan gudfala nem blong givim long kaen software olsem. Smol tingting blong mi nomo.'

  • Re:Damn Shame (Score:5, Informative)

    by rekkanoryo (676146) * <rekkanoryo AT rekkanoryo DOT org> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:35PM (#18652159) Homepage

    Pidgin hasn't really been surpassed in its core focus--textual instant messaging. Yes, other clients are equals in many respects. Yes, some clients have integrated that fabled voice and video support that so many users seem to want. This doesn't really mean that any application is better than Pidgin or that Pidgin has fallen behind the other clients.

    A unified instant messaging standard is the point of XMPP, which is more commonly known as Jabber. It is a completely open, standards-based specification using XML, which makes it flexible and extensible. Google Talk is helping XMPP gain popularity, but to an extent hiding some of the details from its users. For widespread acceptance, at some point the details have to be hidden, and Google Talk is at least doing a decent job of it.

    Dividing effort is another issue entirely. Pidgin had long wished to finish its fabled Core/UI split that started way back at Gaim 0.60 (and its nine-month GTK+2-ification process between 0.59 and 0.60), and at the 2.0.0beta4 release finally accomplished this. The few revisions in Subversion that accomplished this were a complete disaster that could have been avoided had there been a bit more patience, but what's done is done. At any rate, libpurple exists now and its purpose is to make it easy to write alternative user interfaces. Enter Finch, the ncursesw-based console UI. If everyone trying to implement voice and video in other projects could come together and get a decent abstraction layer built into libpurple, any UI that wanted to could take advantage of libpurple functionality, thus reducing duplicated effort to the frontend that the user sees, which is a significant improvement over duplicating literally everything.

    Next I'd like to address paying for Pidgin. In the past this was not possible for numerous reasons, including taxing and trusting individual people with the money. Now, however, when the infrastructure is in place, anyone who wants will be able to "pay" for Pidgin by donating to the project and the Instant Messaging Freedom Corporation. Just be patient a bit longer and such things will be in place so anyone who wishes to contribute money may do so.

    Let me finish by coming back to my original point--Pidgin is extremely good at what it does, and has not fallen behind.

  • Re:Powned him? (Score:5, Informative)

    by damiangerous (218679) <1ndt7174ekq80001@sneakemail.com> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:04PM (#18652319)
    'Pidgin', which refers to a number of English-derived dialects spoken in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.

    "Pidgin" is actually an adjective describing a simplified combining of languages, not a specific language family. There are pidgin languages spoken all over the world combining many languages, not always English. Many pidgin languages are named some variation of "Pidgin" but they don't have exclusive claim to the title.

    More information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Powned him? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:27PM (#18652795) Homepage
    The distinction is actually fairly straightforward: pidgins have a very limited syntax with a fixed word order. A pidgin is seldom a "first" language: it becomes a creole, not in a few generations, but in the first generation in which it is taught as a first language. There is a level of syntactic complexity that is "innate" to anyone's first language: it was the quick developments of creoles from pidgins that was the main evidence for that observation.
  • Re:Careful (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fnordulicious (85996) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:37PM (#18652859) Homepage
    There are "creole" languages which did not arise from a pidgin language, however. An example is Michif or Metis which is an amalgam of Plains Cree and French. Another is Mednyj Aleut, which is a mix of Russian and Aleut. To differentiate them from the pidgin-creole continuum they are often called "mixed" languages instead.

    The reasons why mixed languages arise are somewhat different from the reasons for the development of creole languages, but the former have been and are still called "creole" in some publications.
  • by thc69 (98798) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:44PM (#18652899) Homepage Journal
    Pidgin is not a specific dialect such as the one you cite. The wiki that you link even says that it is a somewhat generic term.

    You spelled "pigeon" wrong.
  • by syousef (465911) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:59PM (#18652963) Journal
    ...and Gay means happy, however in common usage today the first thought people have if you call someone gay is that they're homosexual. Common usage, slang or otherwise trumps other meanings as that's the first association made.
  • by MoxFulder (159829) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @12:08AM (#18653013) Homepage

    Second time I've seen the same sentiment "useful time and resource wasted on IP issues." And I wonder, why the fuck don't all these open source dudes make a point of not trying to walk around in the exact same footsteps as the ground breakers?

    How hard would it have been to not call the project Gee - AIM(tm)?

    Actually, you have the chronology backwards! Originally the official "AIM" was called "AOL Instant Messenger". And GAIM was called "GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger" in its infancy.

    AOL complained, so GAIM changed its name to... "GAIM". This is the crucial point: GAIM was officially called GAIM before AIM was officially called AIM. Surprising but true. But AOL then trademarked the name AIM and has aggressively/ass-hattedly defended that trademark. Trademark law is weird... unlike patents, coming up with it first doesn't matter. And once you have a trademark, you must aggressively defend it in order to keep it.

    AOL may have been total dicks in this case, but its not clear that the law gives them a lot of wiggle room in this case. GAIM is a very prominent competing product with a similar name, and so it's quite likely that they could've lost their trademark right without taking this action.

    In any case, despite the name change, rest assured that Pidgin will continue to be awesome, and the official AIM client will continue to be a big piece of crap.
  • Re:Tell it to AOL (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tragek (772040) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @01:07AM (#18653315) Journal
    On the one hand, I'm almost certain (IANAL) that there's a provision in copyright and trademark laws about protection of trademark (Sue or Loose it kind of deal). On the other hand, I think the definition of "infringing" has become a ridiculous farce. What kind of person could honestly say that Gaim and AIM have more than a passing similarity.

    I suppose we should have seen it coming when Lindows lost to Windows.
  • by aamcf (651492) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @03:23AM (#18653805) Homepage

    . if you can't extract enough value out of an original creative work in 15 years to make it worth your while, the work's probably not that good in the first place.

    There are some musical recordings that are very expensive to make and take much longer that 14 years to recover costs on, let alone make a profit on. IIRC, a lot of classical orchestral recordings are like this.

    And, speaking only for myself, having copyright on my work is not about making money, but about retaining some degree of control over what I write.

  • Re:OMG (Score:2, Informative)

    by drdaz (994457) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @04:48AM (#18654051)
    At least to begin with, try searching for 'pidgin + gaim'.
  • by dknj (441802) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @09:11AM (#18654947) Journal
    All you had to do was google trademark and you'd find USPTO [uspto.gov] which explains how trademarks work. Corporations need trademarks, otherwise I could register a company say i'm releasing gmail before gmail is released and, uh oh, now i'm the trademark holder for gmail. Life doesn't work that way. I for one am quite pleased with the trademark process (this coming from somone having his own company and trademarked name).

    Gaim has no right to keep the name if they don't want to fight it. So goes life. Maybe I'm biased because I retain a high profile lawyer and fights like this would not last more than two certified letters.. but if they really thought they weren't breaking AOL's trademark, they could easily find lawyers willing to fight for them. But, I know the gaim team and they are quick to run away with their tails tucked between their legs

    remember when AOL threatened about the smiley faces? "upper management" forced the smiley removal from cvs and iirc from a few releases (it was later readded when other projects defied AOL and included smiley faces in their aim-compatible products). that was about that time when i quit the gaim team. adium x seems to be better managed, alas they're strictly OS X :(

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